We all try to keep our dogs healthy, happy and an ideal weight. Sudden and unexpected weight loss should always be checked out by your vet to rule out any underlying illness.
But if you have a happy, healthy dog who just is a bit underweight, let’s look at ways to help them “gain a bit”.
How do you know if your dog is underweight?
It’s helpful to pop them on the scales from time to time – yes, we know that may not always be easy! – but it helps to track any gain, or loss, in their usual weight.
If you stand above your dog and look down at his body, you will learn to recognise his silhouette and notice any changes.
You can also run your hand over his sides and you should feel the ribs under a thin layer of fat. Remember that some breeds are “leaner” than others, but there should always be some padding between ribs and skin.
Is diet the reason your dog is not gaining weight?
Remember that dog food varies in quality so be sure you’re feeding appropriately for age, breed and activity levels to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients and vitamins needed.
Your vet can advise on changes to your dog’s diet and exercise routine – maybe even adding an extra daily meal or offering smaller, more frequent meals (which might require additional “walkies” as part of the faster metabolism!).
How can you add additional calories to your dog's diet safely?
Additional calories may also be added in the form of safe “human food” such as roast chicken meat but no skin, boiled eggs, canned tuna and fat-free plain yoghurt.
But, be aware there are some “human foods” that should never be fed to dogs – such as chocolate, grapes/raisins, garlic and onion.
Extra exercise may sound counterproductive but can help to build muscle – always check with your vet first.
What about treats and snacks for your dog? Is that effective weight gain?
Treats and snacks will also add calories to your dog’s diet though should not be their primary source of calories.
We understand how important energy and proteins are for building your dog's muscle mass and weight which is why we are so passionate about helping dogs who are struggling to gain weight or are in need of further nutrition.